- INSIDE ATHLETICS
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Willie Gillus enters his seventh year on the Viking coaching staff. He most recently served as the Quarterbacks/Running Backs coach for the Winnipeg Bluebombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 2005. There he was successful in coaching Charles Roberts to the CFL rushing title. Prior to that, he served as the head football coach at his alma mater Norfolk State University for two seasons.
A former championship quarterback for the Spartans, Gillus also served as the offensive coordinator at Virginia Union University from 1999-2002. While at Virginia Union, he worked under head coach Willard Bailey, who coach Gillus at NSU in the early 1980's. His other duties as a member of the Panther coaching staff included recruiting coordinator, strength and conditioning coach and pro football liaison. He helped the Panthers capture the 2000 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) championship.
Gillus graduated from NSU with a bachelor's degree in Kinesiotherapy in 1988. He quarterbacked the NSU football team from 1982-1985 and is third on the school's all-time passing yardage list and is fifth all-time in total yardage. During his career he completed 240 of his 5441 passes for 3,740 yards and 27 touchdowns. He was an instrumental part of the 1984 team that set a NSU single-season record for wins as the Spartans finished 10-2. That year represented the Spartans last CIAA title and gained the school's first and only NCAA Division II berth.
After his career concluded at NSU, Gillus was a member of the Green Bay Packers during the 1987 strike season. He later signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993 but was released before the season. In between NFL teams, Gillus has five successful seasons in the CFL one as a member of the British Columbia Lions' 1998 Grey Cup runner-up team, one for the Ottawa Rough Riders and three on the Toronto Argonauts, who captured the Grey Cup in 1991.
After leaving pro football, Coach Gillus embarked on a stellar coaching career at Surry County High School in Surry County, VA. In five seasons, his team compiled a 53-12 record (.815), including the 1998 Virginia Group A Division 1 title. Gillus was the Tri-Rivers District Coach of the Year four times and Region A Coach of the Year twice. In 2004, the All-American Football Foundation presented Gillus with the Gerald R. Ford All-American High School Football Coach Award for his success at Surry County High School.
A native of Emporia, VA, Gillus is the father of four children; Tiffany, Taleesa, Willie III and Chantel.
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